Reports & Studies
One Year Later: How Natural Gas Saved Texas During Winter Storm Uri, and How Texas Prepared for The Next Big Storm
While natural gas prevented a bad situation from becoming worse in 2021, the challenges that impacted the Texas energy system were varied and diverse. From widespread power losses to frozen infrastructure and impassable roads, the end result was 4.5 million Texans without power and oil and gas operators who could not operate at maximum capacity. In addition to the millions of dollars operators spend on weatherization efforts, Texas legislators passed a series of new laws and regulations to protect the energy grid from the impact of future storms. From new weatherization standards to processes that designate critical infrastructure, operators have quickly adapted to these new reforms and continue to make proactive investments of their own. In February 2022, Texas passed its first real test since Winter Storm Uri when energy demand soared, and energy producers delivered.
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- Natural gas outperformed other energy sources (like wind, coal, solar, and nuclear) during Winter Storm Uri ,generating more than 900,000 kilowatt hours at its peak.
- Despite the robust performance of natural gas, the Texas energy system as a whole still failed Texans. Electric blackouts called by ERCOT and implemented by the transmission & distribution service providers along with customer electrical curtailments for other reasons caused or contributed to natural gas production outages in the Permian Basin.
- Historical data shows that winter storms only briefly impact oil and gas production.
- Texas diligently prepared for the next storm over the past year. The Texas Railroad Commission reports that approximately 98% of natural gas facilities have been winterized.
- Another storm in February 2022 presented a chance to test Texas’ more robust energy grid – and Texas energy producers delivered. Energy demand in the 2022 storm hit around 68,000 megawatts, coming incredibly close to the 69,000 megawatts of demand put on the system during Winter Storm Uri. And yet, the Texas energy grid stood strong.